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Friday, August 30, 2013

Married with Friends



This was a phenomena my best-friend, Steph, and I realized years ago. Probably shortly after I had met and married Aaron. We married each other.

Aaron and Steph are so much alike, it's ridiculous. Have you ever compared your best friend to your spouse? The things that bother you? The things you love? The similarities? Do it now, I dare you! It's super eery.

Steph will say her husband and I are so much alike, too. This is the reason he and I get along so well. Just like she and Aaron get along. But this phenomena didn't stop with just my best friend.

Today, another friend and I were talking about our houses. And she pulls the "You're just like 'George'." (name to be kept private) I, at some point in my life, have decided I didn't want to be like someone .. or that others spouses were insane.

But I realize, being married with friends, means I'm friending Aaron over and over again. And it's kinda cool!

I keep finding people that are driven, goal oriented, focused on improving themself. I do notice that when I force friendships with people who are like me, I get frustrated. I start to feel like it's pointless. And that I am their doormat. It's a painful experience.

The hard part about finding friends that are like Aaron, their spouses aren't always like me. Which makes being married with friends difficult at times. How do you find those friends that are couples? Those that you both connect with?


Thursday, May 23, 2013

What more do you need?

The other day I got so super frustrated with my kids asking for more more more!!
It was one of those moments where I snap and said "You have enough already, what more do you need?"

That moment was quite a realization in my "demands" on my own life when I'm praying or talking with God. I wonder if he ever snaps in with a "You have plenty, what more can you want or need?"

It was very sobering. How much more can one want?
What else does one need?
I breath.

I have a home that is safe.
I have food on the table.
Healthy kids.
Loving husband.
I can pay my bills.
Clothing.
I have health insurance.
Two cars .. even a four-wheeler.
Half acre of land.
A dog.
I'm a stay-at-home mom without financial burden.



What more really could I need?

When I snapped at my kids, I realized I have probably many many times pulled the same stunts with God in begging for more money, bigger house, newer cars, warmer, sunnier place to live, skinnier thighs. Oh yeah .. the thighs I beg for often.

But I realize, that regardless of my thighs, my house, my cars, God is still providing. Everything that I have does exactly what I need it to do, and more.

I think about missionaries in foreign countries that are in hiding. Because to come out that they are on mission for God would be life or death for them. They are converting people left and right to the faith of the eternal kingdom. They are living with means far below my own. They are living to serve God and all they ask is for His protection.

So my question becomes, how do I teach my kids that they have enough? That they don't NEED more. We aren't shoppers. We don't have the newest gadgets. We have a scratch in the middle of our TV screen that drives me insane when light shines on it, but we don't have any plans on getting a new TV. That really has nothing to do with needs. Only wants. :)

But how? How do we teach them that enough is enough? That God is providing all our needs daily, minute by minute. I suppose it must start with me. And my realizing that I have all I need and more. Being grateful for what I do have. Even my thighs! ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013

How Great Thou Art



Where did the time go? I can't believe my exercise in Facebook detox has closed. I signed back in, nervously, Thursday, last week. I say nervously, because I didn't quite know what to expect or what to post as a status. This might seem silly. But I pretty much was an open book on Facebook. I posted nearly everything about my life on there.

With resistance I logged in and realized after about 30 minutes I was bored. It was like I had said the word "label" over and over and over again. It lost it's value and purpose. Try it. Say the first word that comes to your mind 10 different times in a couple minutes. It will soon just be a sound, without meaning. And then, you'll have to use it in a sentence to give it meaning again.

Facebook is that way for me, at the moment. It has no meaning. It's value is lost. And it's just something that I use to waste a lot time, energy, and emotion on. But it still has purpose. I get that. You don't have a successful social media outlet without it having a direct and effective purpose. 

All that said, I am back on Facebook. But I can confidently say my view of the social media outlet is very different. In a more positive and spiritual way. How can Facebook be spiritual? Many MANY ways. In fact, all things in life are spiritual if you allow yourself to let go of control even for a moment. 


Spiritual connectiveness comes in all forms; from human contact to nature to animal. We are all connected. Facebook is just one more avenue to spiritually connect with others. And I am so glad that God taught me that over those 48 days. I learned so much in those days. Not just because I wasn't on Facebook, but because I was trying to focus on God's purpose and plan for me. Trying to make His desires mine. I simply can't say I am 100% desiring what God wants. That would be a lie. What I can say is that I am learning to recognize God's desires. Realizing is the first step. Grasping that concept and running with it, is another.

His plan for my life is incredible. Even though I don't know what it is. I do know that it's incredible. His plan for all lives is incredible. 

I started this blog post with the idea in my head that I was going to tell you about how I spent those 48 days. About the things I did or didn't accomplish. But quickly realized that the biggest message I wanted to share with you, is that God in my life has been the biggest and most incredible change. Realizing that I need to put Him first, above anything else in this life to make everything in this life matter.

I will end with the verses of my favorite hymn of all times;

"How Great Thou Art"



O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Idols .. They Are Not What You Think They Are




Half way through May and I haven't written one post. It's not that I am out of material. I just get writers block. I don't know where to begin, or sometimes, I forget the topics I come up with to write about.

Recently, I led a class on idolatry. This is hefty topic. Not to be taken lightly. And you are left feeling very raw when confronted with truth. Truth isn't so bad, in and of itself. It's the realization of that truth that hurts. Knowing that you cannot simply turn away from truth in ignorant denial, any longer. That is what the study of idolatry did to me.


I thought, originally, that Facebook was my idol. But as I proceeded through the study I found there were many more things I placed on the throne of my heart, instead of God. Logically, I know that God is a jealous God. He isn't interested in sharing my heart with anything. But I am human.


As we met week after week, my intimate class of four and I, we learned a lot about each other. I found out that in a group whose background is no where near as sad, risky, stupid, and dark they still loved me. They still accepted me. I was still their sister in Christ, and would continue to be.


See, I thought Facebook was my idol. Not true. My truth in idols came out in allowing my past choices to dictate the level of closeness, vulnerability, and spiritual dependence on other Christians. My idol was my past Me.


That might be hard for someone to understand, especially if you aren't a Believer, or even if you are. So let me explain, only a little bit.


As a child, I was introduced to sex at a very young age. Not by choice. As a preteen, I didn't understand it, so I explored in ways the seemed natural. As an adolescent teen, I was very much prudish about the topics of sex, alcohol, drugs, money, true friendships, and honest healthy boy/girl relationships. As a college student, my ignorance in those things came out in irresponsibility, bad choices, unhealthy drinking and drug use habits, and promiscuity. Insecurities grew with me in relationships with friends, family members, and acquaintances. I convinced myself over and over again that people interacted with me for some reason. Not because they wanted to be my friend or they cared about me. But I 100% believed they had an ulterior motive.


I had what most would think as a "normal" family life growing up in the military. As normal as that is. And then moving at age 12 to a new place upon my dad's retirement. 


Look, I'm not here to rehash the past. In fact, all that has been locked up in the vault for God. He has removed all those things from my heart, and I am focusing on putting Him as King on His rightful throne of my heart. My point is, ALL those things made me put God second, third, 100th, somewhere in the line of priority.


I was forced during this study to be vulnerable. To open up to a group of people that I hadn't really had any sort of deep conversation with. I really hadn't had much of a conversation with any of them outside a church setting, to be honest. And God walked me through the entire process. Prompting me when to share and when to stop. And I listened. BOY HOWDY did I listen. Because if it were up to me, my lips would've been left glued shut and likely our class would've sat silent for the hour and 15 minutes. :)


At any rate, I will be practicing listening to God everyday. I have to practice, because I am one stubborn bullheaded red head!!!! And that is no joke!


My friendships have deepened to incredible spiritual depths since releasing those heavy loaded burdens I was unnecessarily carrying, and idolizing. 


Look, friends, an idol isn't necessarily a golden calf, a fat bellied man sitting cross legged, or a dollar bill. An idol is something that you put before God. ANYTHING you obsess on, go to for comfort, think about, worry about, or try to control before you ever consider God. 


I pray that you will allow the Spirit to show you your idols in your life. Be open to His truthful conviction, but know confidently that He is only showing you these things in love. Not to punish you. But to bless you and glorify our Holy Creator!


Peace

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

31 days




It has been 31 days since I deactivated my Facebook account. I wish I could say it's been easy flowing this whole time. But there are days, moments, and times I would REALLY like to share something on Facebook. But also, I want to use a few of the pages on there to sell things, or just see how people are doing.

Even though I miss some aspects of Facebook, I have come to realize that I don't NEED it like before. I don't need to find my worth there. My value. I don't need to see and KNOW what people are doing. I'm still struggling with figuring out how to get people to communicate with me about various things.

It's been funny when I hear stories about things in peoples' lives and they always respond with "Oh, right, you're not on Facebook." :)

My kids have finally stopped saying "You should Facebook that, Mom." Who know such terminology would come out of the mouths of a 4 and 7 year old.

Habits are hard to form, and with 19 definite days left of Facebook free, I wonder if I will activate it again, because I am worried that I will allow it to be such an influence on my life, again. I worry that I will lose the whole focus and understanding of this exercise.

God has been awesome with me. I still fail so miserably in daily prayer, devotion, time with Him. Allowing the Spirit to converse with me. Being in the presence of the Lord. But it is becoming more frequent. Learning to put God first in EVERYTHING I do has been a lot more difficult than I imagined it would be. My friends have been so supportive and often check on me wondering how I am doing without Facebook. (They all still have it.)

People at church are beginning to remember that I don't have it, and update me in person about events, or other things. It has been amazing seeing the transition in personal relationship with people and me. A friend recently deactivated her account just to see what it would be like. Knowing that it doesn't have to be a permanent thing helps make the decision.

God working through me has been my goal. The study at church has forced me to be more open about my life. The choices I made, as well as how the choices others made have influenced my life.

The most important thing I have noticed in this exercise, is that I have been more open to God in showing me where my heart is being led in the wrong direction, as well as the right. I am more patient with my kids. I am more loving with my husband. I am more accepting of faults, realizing that people aren't perfect.

31 days without Facebook. Seven months of the year have 31 days. I wonder what it would be like if everyone took a one month a year hiatus from social networking?

Challenge! And go!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Throwing in the Proverbial Towel




That is it!!! I am throwing in that proverbial towel! I can't keep up with all this perfect mom, parent crap!!!

Do I cloth diaper or disposable .. hell why not just let them go naked!?!
Organic or processed?

TV or NO TV or is 2 hours a day on average .. or what about all day? 
Home school is better.
No public school is better.
No private school is better.
Wait .. what about unschool, let's just let the kids decide what they wanna learn.
Chicken or beef?
Sugar .. stevia 
Agave or honey
Vegeterian or Vegan
Paleo or Modern
Republican or Democrat ... or Libertarian .. or Run and hide in the hills with ammo and guns.
Family pictures every year or not
Daily crafts with the kids make you a better mom .. how about I punch you in the face?!?!
Remember to have your kids read, write, recognize, say the sounds of each letter of the alphabet.... 
And if you REALLY want to be a good mom, they will be reading before kindergarten.
Homemade laundry detergent  .. or store bought
Line dry or electric dryer
You're a better mom if you spend 42.5 seconds a day looking into your child's eyes.

You're a better mom if you have every meal planned out for the month, plus bills paid, a back up plan for each meal, groceries bought and put away in 33 minutes, your list prepared, AND a binder for the family!
WHAT!?!?!

What the hell is going on that our motherhood experience is under attack by so-called perfect mothering methods??? Seriously!

I'm over it. I can't do it anymore. I'm not perfect. My house isn't always cleaned up. My kids don't always have clean socks ready and folded perfectly smelling like flowers waiting for their placing upon their perfectly cleaned toes. Sometimes I have to throw a panic load of laundry in the wash on the short cycle first thing in the morning and dry only what's needed at that moment for the day. So what!?!


I feel so much pressure from all these "1001 things to do to ensure your child grows up perfectly" blogs, posts, and crap! 

Why can't mothers just be moms. Talk to your kids. Walk with them. Play with them. Why does having designated scheduled craft time daily make you a better mom than any other mom? Why does feeding your child hormone free homemade chicken nuggets make you a better mom than a mom that gives her kids Tyson's chicken nuggets from the microwave?

I am done. I'm throwing in my towel. I will feed my kids what I deem fit. I will play with my kids MY WAY. 


Be the mom you are to be! Be the wife you are to be! Your kids and your husband are not anyone elses!!!!


Peace OUT!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Drink Order is a Bota Box...The WHOLE thing



SOMETIMES I WANT TO SCREAM, HOOT, HOLLER, and CARRY ON LIKE A

TANTRUMMING TODDLER!!!!

Like, seriously. Like, no joke. Like right now!!!

Consider this post a therapeutic one.

My patience is non-existent today. My personality is negative. My idea of success is just that we will make it through the day all human bodies in tact, alive and breathing. Today, that is success!

The 4,000th time of saying no. The 4,000,000th time of disciplining. The 400,000,000th time of asking one child to accomplish one single freaking task! Screw this, I'm out!

Today is the day that I will consider a HUGE success that my kids make it all the way to bedtime alive. Breathing. Unbruised. And by a miracle, there will be minimal whining.

You know that tone, that whining tone that is piercing to the soul? That one has been my background noise all day. ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL DAY!!!!!

If I had the money, today I would've purchased a one-way ticket to Tahiti with an undetermined return date.

I'm sorry that Aaron had to come home to this. Usually by the time he gets home I have pulled myself (and the offspring) together as one cohesive and happy family unit. Usually with painted smiles, cartoons, or dinner ready.

Not today. Today, I want a glass of wine, no make that a 750ml bottle. No make it a box, a Bota Box.